Josh Rogosin

Josh Rogosin stumbled into NPR HQ in 1999 on his way to mixing shows at The Shakespeare Theatre in downtown DC. Since then, he has been at the controls for all of NPR's flagship newsmagazines and gathered sound in far flung places like Togo and Benin, West Africa, Cambodia and Greece for the Radio Expeditions series. He has engineered at NPR West and NPR NY and spent two years as Technical Director at Marketplace Productions in Los Angeles. He served as Senior Broadcast Engineer for New York Public Radio and Studio 360, and was an originating producer and sound designer for NPR's Ask Me Another.

In his current role, Rogosin is the Technical Director for NPR Music and has recorded and mixed over 500 Tiny Desk Concerts (and counting). He graduated from the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College.

As the audio engineer for the Tiny Desk concert series, of course I obsess over how our concerts are experienced — so when I watch someone pull up a session on their smartphone, laptop or tablet, with those tiny and tinny speakers, my heart sinks a little. I'm thrilled people love these concerts as much as we love making them, but they sound so much better when played on a decent sound system, or on headphones.

I've recorded over 500 Tiny Desk concerts and, of course, have countless favorites. But which sound the best? Well here they are, according to me — the guy mixing the performances and bopping his head along just off (and sometimes on) screen.

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Sting and Shaggy might not be the most likely musical pairing. But one thing is certain, they love playing each other's music. On a bright autumn morning, the legends arrived at the NPR Music office bleary-eyed yet excited to play for the diverse staff of Shaggy and Sting fans. What surprised many of my NPR colleagues is just how well the collaboration works.

One of Bob Boilen's requests at the Tiny Desk is that no musician play louder than the singers can project without amplification, which has the effect of equalizing audience and performers, creating an intimate and balanced sound that's never too loud in the room. But when sound engineers need to reinforce venues bigger than an office, it's impossible to balance the sound in every area of the room. If you prefer to be close to the stage, you'll inevitably be a lot closer to the loudspeakers, where volume levels can become uncomfortably loud.

Her nervousness was palpable and stood in stark contrast to her fully produced stage show. "I'm sorry I'm shy," Florence Welch told the crowd of NPR family and friends gathered for her Tiny Desk performance. "If this was a big gig, I'd probably be climbing all over here and running around."